J&J Settles Risperdal Cases for $181 Million

     CHICAGO (CN) - Thirty-six states will split $181 million from Janssen Pharmaceuticals and Johnson & Johnson, which were accused of pushing the schizophrenia drug Risperdal for off-label uses.
     Doctors are allowed to prescribe drugs for off-label uses, but drug companies cannot push the drugs for that.
     Janssen's corporate parent Johnson & Johnson did not admit it did anything wrong.
     States settled for varying amounts. According to the lawsuits in the Courthouse News database, Illinois sought $50,000 for each consumer law and/or deceptive trade violation; Oregon sought $25,000 per violation, Texas $20,000 per violation, Delaware and Hawaii $10,000 per violation, Alabama $2,000 per violation.
     In its complaint in Cook County Court, the state said Janssen pushed Risperdal on old people and children, for conditions for which the FDA had not approved it.
     The FDA approved Risperdal in 1994 for treatment of some psychotic disorders. The approved use was narrowed to schizophrenia in 2000.
     "The FDA has never approved the use of Risperdal by adults, children or the elderly for the treatment of depression, anxiety, attention deficit disorder ('ADD'), attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder ('ADHD'), conduct disorder, sleep disorders, anger management, dementia, Alzheimer's diseased, post traumatic stress disorder, or for mood enhancement or mood stabilization," Illinois says in its complaint.
     But Attorney General Lisa Madigan said in the complaint: "Janssen promoted Risperdal through the use of various marketing practices that were designed to result in the increase of off-label use of Risperdal. These practices included: setting goals and creating incentives that motivated sales representatives to promote Risperdal for unapproved uses; sponsoring and arranging speaker programs that promoted unapproved uses; conducting sham 'consulting' programs in which physicians were paid to learn about Risperdal's unapproved uses; and rewarding physicians who prescribed and promoted Risperdal for unapproved uses with lucrative consulting agreements."